15.3.2024 Catalina Grande Piñón Pequeño & Lendakaris Muertos @ La Riviera, Madrid

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On March 15th, 2024, a large group of punks gathered on the banks of the Manzanares River in Madrid to witness a double dose of fast-paced songs and biting lyrics at La Riviera. The celebration marked 20 years of LENDAKARIS MUERTOS, drawing a crowd overflowing into the surrounding area, toasting with beer or calimocho (a typical drink mixing wine and cola). As the opening act, CATALINA GRANDE PIÑÓN PEQUEÑO (CGPP) took the stage, only a small hundred or so fans were waiting eagerly by the stage for the performance to begin.

CGPP, a punk group from León, Spain, formed in 2019, consists of David Verderón (vocals), who initially intended to record and release his lyrics but later joined forces with Richard Majo (guitar) to bring them to life on stage. As they progressed, the idea of performing live grew, leading to the addition of Adrian Cavero (drums) as a fundamental element of the group. They have released two full albums, “Baile Vermú” and “La Ira de un Hombre Bueno,” and in 2024, they will debut “Razonables Éxitos,” a compilation of their best previous work with a handful of new tracks and some old song covers.

Punk concerts have a distinct and genuine vibe, attracting a different audience from metal or rock shows, from their attire to their way of living and feeling the music. The concert by CGPP was experienced with naturalness, freedom on stage, and a remarkable commitment that resonated with everyone, convincing both first-timers and those already familiar with the band.

During the nearly one-hour concert, there were some peculiar moments, such as David (vocals) drinking beer from different, representative containers, including a urinal, a toilet brush, and an iron. The brush was also used to sprinkle liquid onto the audience as if in a ceremonial blessing, and Cecina (some kind of cured jam) from León was distributed to those who properly formed a line, a much-appreciated snack to accompany the drinks.

The band explained their songs with lengthy intros, but without hiding anything, David made it clear that if he didn’t extend the interludes, they wouldn’t meet the stage time, a testament to their punk attitude. They performed all their hits like a machine gun, demonstrating a performance that was completely in line with the celebration and what was to come next. They performed “Los de la capi,” a song that highlights the ease of returning to León and the out-of-place feeling of those from the capital outside their asphalt habitat. The audience welcomed “Arroz con costilas” and “Riñones de leche” with jumps and approving whistles. “Condones de Cecina” was a real party, particularly after the personal canonization; if you don’t know this song, I recommend looking up its lyrics. I’m convinced it won’t leave you indifferent… The sound of the venue and the band’s instrumental performance were also on point.

The audience celebrated each new song and sang along to the lyrics they knew by heart, prompting the first dances and even a few circle pits. Every joke and interaction received a response in the form of laughter and applause, creating a great atmosphere and a strong connection, a seamless performance that was contagious. As they declared to all present, “Welcome to the religion of Punk Fandango,” they gained one more loyal follower.

LENDAKARIS MUERTOS is a punk band from Pamplona, Spain, known for their authentic punk sound, high speed, very short songs, continuous choruses, and ironic lyrics that combine humor, criticism, and cleverness to address personal, social, or political issues. The band’s name is inspired by the American hardcore punk group DEAD KENNEDYS, (“Lehendakari” is the title given to the President of the Basque Government in Spain)

Here’s a recap of their 20-year history: In 2004, just five months after their formation they recorded their first demo and in February 2005 they released their debut LP “Lendakaris Muertos.” The band has had a prolific punk career, releasing their second album, “Se habla español” in 2006, and their third album, “Vine, vi y me vendí” in 2008. In December 2009, they released a live album titled “Directo a los güevos” featuring 39 songs and 0 guitar solos. In 2012, they released “Crucificados por el antisistema” and in 2016, “Cicatriz en la matrix.” In August 2017, they toured in the Americas, visiting California, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina, during which they created and recorded their new album “Podrán cortar la droga pero no la primavera,” released in 2017.

In 2024, celebrating 20 years of their career, they announced their return to the stage and released their latest album “Mucho asco (casi) todo” featuring a new collection of songs, including one that holds a world record for the shortest song in history. The album also includes an anti-football anthem, an English learning method for beginners, and a message to another “Lehendakari.” The album cover features the image of the Spanish president, designed by the Madrid artist Mario Rivière.

The concert kicked off with the punks still entering to make the most of their drinks, but in no time, the venue looked spectacular, with La Riviera completely packed and the audience showing enthusiasm and excitement for what was to come. The energy and party atmosphere were palpable as the band performed at lightning speed, delivering lyrics filled with acid and lucidity.

Aitor Ibarretxe (vocals) had a total connection with the audience, displaying gestures, pointing, smiling, and making grotesque faces while singing. Aitor, much like the band itself, is chaotic, independent, countercultural, spontaneous, and visceral. He frequently disappeared into the crowd, allowing fans to sing along or lift while surfing in the crowd during entire songs. He initiated the largest wall of death of the night and often mingled with the audience for support. There were also numerous times when they simply went down to the pit to be close to the audience and feel their support.

It’s difficult to capture in writing the atmosphere the band creates. There was never a moment’s pause; everything was fast-paced, even though they played for an hour and a half. It was a natural connection with the entire venue, and nothing out of the ordinary for their concerts—chaos, joy, musicians climbing on the speakers, the whole band coming down to the pit to greet fans up close, costumes accompanying the songs, venomous comments in the interludes, circle pits, mosh pits, wall of death, beer flying, and people sweating with big smiles; an incredible concert to celebrate 20 years of punk.

Text and photos by Miguel Capelli